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Sep 26, 2010 04:45 PM

How things are made: near Rome

Deb and I have been spending the better part of March in Rome for a few years now. Contributors on this board have been outstanding. Thank you.
Beyond sightseeing, eating/drinking well, I thought I would ask the board if there are places where I might enjoy the foodie/artisinal/booze manufacturing process. Process can be pretty cool but it takes a bit of local insight to steer me in the right direction. Non-foodie stuff is pretty cool, too but I don't want to incur the wrath of the mods. I'm talking day trip.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Go to one of the farmer's markets, strike up a conversation with one of the producers and (maybe) get yourself invited to visit.

    There's this one in Testaccio that now seems to be involved in some sort of dispute with the City of Rome, so check before going:

    And there's this one on Via San Teodoro:

    1. Try searching "aziende agricole nel lazio" and you'll hit a number of farms/growers you might be able to visit. Found more than a few. Also, the wine towns of the Castelli Romani area are a short dirve, too, each with their own mercatino, of course. Good hunting.

      1. Hi Steve,

        Just a short drive from Rome in the Castelli Romani area I really enjoy the "azienda agricola Iacchilli" it's huge offering a indoor/outdoor market with locally grown greens, wines, EVO Oii, freshly baked bread, pizza and cantuccini, and i could go on for ever, there's also a very nice big park with mews, fruit trees, chestnut trees, a nice restaurant, a little shop for tastings, and so on. It is family run and it's great for a day out to enjoy the Campagna Romana.
        Hope this helps,
        Nancy Aiello

        1. Thanks for these fine recommendations. I'm also interested in any and all manufacturing processes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: steve h.

            We always enjoyed travelling to factories when I was a kid (Beechnut Chewing Gum and Baby food at Canojaharie, paper mills, donut factory, etc, , Baxters of Fochabers (jam and soup) in Scotland was fun as an adult. Rome is more of a govenment center than a manufacturing center, you think of Modena for sport cars, tuscany for clothing - Id start looking at food labels and see what is manufactured nearby. There is always Ariccia I guess the source of so much porchetta. Downie's book has a lot of artisanal food shops - you might visit sausage makers, see how Volpetti ages its cheeses, or artisanal pasta makers making their pasta. Or travel up to Emilia Romagna for the weekend - there are many food industry sites to visit there - we really enjoyed the parmesan cheese complex we visited

          2. Couple more ideas. Try for a complete list of agriturismi by region. Also, Touring Club of Italy produced a regional guide to Italian food (and wine) in 2001 that's fairly detailed. When in Rome, stop by TCI or a good bookshop like Feltrinelli. Finally, try browsing, the Italian internet bookshop for specialized guides--you might want one, given your regular trips. Here's a link to a 400-page guide to villages, food fairs, and markets--2450 entries!--in Lazio alone: